St. Gregory’s University’s Machado Named VP and President-Elect of OK-AHEAD
By: Joshua Young, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Anne E. Machado, Coordinator of Partners in Learning (PIL) at St. Gregory’s University has recently been appointed Vice-President of the Oklahoma Association of Higher Education and Disability (OK-AHEAD). In July 2017, Anne will become the 2017-18 OK-AHEAD President, succeeding Tabitha Pope, and does Machado have an ever ambitious vision.
“I want to address the stigma related to disability. Many don’t know about the AHEAD organization because we want to avoid talking about or viewing disability,” said Machado, “Communication is the key. If we don’t talk about it, people will continue to make assumptions.”
OK-AHEAD’s mission is to serve service providers of people with disabilities so that those people may have access to and fully participate in post-secondary education. This organization provides an invaluable source of education for all Oklahoma Disability Directors regarding updates in disability law, disability resources available in the state and information about Assistive Technology and is a part of the national AHEAD organization. All this to better serve students in higher education and at St. Gregory’s University. Beyond providing services, OK-AHEAD also offers thousands of dollars in scholarships every year to students.
“We want to make sure students are treated fairly and give them the resources to achieve their goals,” said Machado.
Machado also presented her research on PIL at the OK-AHEAD conference March 30-31, 2017. She detailed the success students have in attaining their educational goals through the tools offered by the PIL program and through disability services at SGU. Machado is completing her M.A. in Professional Counseling and Pastoral Counseling at St. Gregory’s. She will graduate this May and hopes to use her education to further serve our community.
“Our program is one that is very unique because we infuse the Catholic faith into our curriculum. This helps to enlighten our students and has helped me grow in my education and faith,” said Machado, “It also enrichens my goals as president of OK-AHEAD.”
Among Machado’s various work, she still finds time to serve others. She is an Oblate of St. Gregory’s Abbey and has served as a Hospice Chaplain.